14

“Being a Man” Today…My Thoughts.

"Being a Man" Today...My Thoughts.

The 21st century.

"Being a Man" Today...My Thoughts.A century that, so far, has given us the most ridiculous leaps in technology. A century that has given us Harry Potter. The same century that gave the United States its first black President. And at the same time showed us a glimpse of how deep financial greed could dig. A century that is currently showing us that climate change is a bitch. But regrettably, it is also a time when it’s almost become very acceptable for the girls to become men, and for the men to become women.

Quite frankly, I’ve always believed women were always the smarter of both sexes. Sometimes, I’m even shocked that we men have been able to suppress and reduce the role of women to just house-carers and child bearers for so long. I guess in a strange way, Brawn beats Brain. But with the dawn of this century, that has changed drastically. Women have become empowered, as they should have been from the very beginning of our species. But women becoming empowered and fully realizing their status as equals should not, in any way, threaten a man’s pride or confidence in his role as leader, provider and protector. Only a man with an inferiority complex would feel threatened by his well-to-do wife or girlfriend.

Well Damn…

I understand that being ‘progressive’ today is mostly about challenging a lot of the ideas, beliefs and practices of old. Ideas that we believe do not really have a place in the rapidly changing mentalities and societies we live in today. Feminism, sexual freedom and secularism are gaining grounds today. And that is good. But the fact that we are challenging of most old/traditional concepts raises a serious question. Where does it end? Where do we draw the line? (I know I raised two questions instead of one but I digress).

 

"Being a Man" Today...My Thoughts.

For example, I believe every man or woman has a right to love whoever they want. We are talking about two or more intelligent, consenting adults making a decision that personally affects only them. Why should it be your business or mine? But then –  the acknowledgment of various sexual preferences (being straight, gay or bisexual) has indirectly given rise to ‘gender preference’. This has brought up some words which I am still trying to fully understand. Terms like ‘agender’, ‘pangender‘, ‘trigender‘, ‘gender-fluid‘  etc. keep getting thrown at me left, right and center. I have watched several videos and read about these new gender niches in an attempt to better understand them. But in the end, it feels to me that these terms are more ideological and political. And not biological in the least sense. Maybe I need an expert to truly help me understand. Am I missing something? Call me whatever but I think this idea of 21st century forward thinking is fast becoming exaggerated and abused in many cases.

 

So what now, man??

Glad you asked. So my problem now is that such ‘forward’ thinking, as well as so much access to ‘luxury’, is also now affecting how people view manhood today. I think a lot of people confuse bravado with being a man. And a lot more think it is okay for men to break down their walls and be sensitive. Being sensitive is perfectly fine. It is a quality that I believe every one of us should have. Being delicate on the other hand, is a problem. And I think people ought to make the difference between being sensitive and being delicate.

Ps. By luxury, I’m referring to just about any item, device or circumstance that makes our lives far easier than it would have been previously.

"Being a Man" Today...My Thoughts.An example. Today, especially in Europe and other developed countries, I have observed that many fit men are okay living with a complete lack of autonomy. What I mean is that I’ve seen a good number of grown men who choose to depend on their wives or parents for their livelihood and are completely unashamed. What bothers me even more is that such behaviour is becoming particularly commonplace. Maybe it is because I was raised in a different country, with different cultural values and under different circumstances, that I think this is a problem. I am of the belief that if you were born a man, biologically speaking, then it is especially important for you to have pride in taking initiative, being self-dependent and taking on life’s challenges with little complaint.

Look. I understand that life hands us some seriously sour lemons sometimes. But I still believe that a true measure of a man’s honour lies in his pride, resolve and integrity.

 

That’s not half bad. Please do tell me more.🤔

As a man, physical strength is vital. But mental strength is even more vital. Mentally tough men are able to stay calm, cool, and collected when things in their life – big and small — are shitty. They don’t lose their temper or fall to pieces when faced with stress. Instead, they’re able to maintain perspective on the problem and concentrate on how best to solve it (or simply ignore it for the insignificant annoyance that it is). I still have my shortcomings (lots actually) but this is the type of man I strive to be. This aspect of the code of manhood has long been a target for critics today, who argue that suppressing the expression of one’s feelings stunts men’s emotional growth and leads to psychological and social problems.

"Being a Man" Today...My Thoughts.While this is true, it is still a little misguided. As Brett McKay put it, what these critics fail to understand is that it’s not “manhood” that’s the problem, but an impoverished modern idea of manhood that’s the problem. A lot of magazines and most aspects of pop culture today focus on sex, cars, metrosexuality and six packs. Not nearly as much information is put out there on inner manly qualities and virtues. Almost everything out there is superficial and doesn’t add much value to our growth as humans. The only thing we young men today know about “Being a man” is mere bravado.  Just like building muscle for display instead of practical uses. Our fathers, and their fathers before them, understood that it’s quite possible to be stoic and cultivate a rich emotional life.

Even men of old, famous for their advocacy of the “stiff upper lip,” weren’t shy about crying over sad poetry, writing highly sentimental letters to friends and lovers, and showing their male buddies a level of physical affection that would make us moderns uncomfortable. (To be honest, I still get quite uncomfortable when a grown man invades my personal space, not to talk of physical affection😅). To quote a nice passage I referenced from www.artofmanliness.com, “…Being stoic is not about suppressing one’s feelings entirely; it’s rather a matter of knowing when to turn on the toughness/pride and when to turn it off. You don’t live like a rock every day, you just have access to that firm, steady energy, should you need it.” It is okay to ask for help when you need it. It is okay to talk about your problems and feelings when they weigh down on you. It is okay to cry when when the world weighs down on you. But please, don’t make a habit of whining.

Conclusion.

I still have a lot of growing up to do. I still have a lot to learn. But if anything, I am happy with my progress as a man thus far. Speaking from personal experience, women want equality in comparison to their male counterparts in almost every walk of life. But equality does not mean losing initiative and control when the situation calls for it. A loss of initiative will always be unattractive. To both men and women.

Be sensitive. But don’t be delicate.

Be a leader. But don’t be a bossy cunt.

Be proud. But never let it get in the way of personal development and happiness.

Seek self-development constantly. Read. Learn. Risk. But don’t seek to become better for someone else. Do it for you first.

"Being a Man" Today...My Thoughts.

And remember. It is always about finding Balance.

 

Thank you. 🙂

Ps. Leave a comment. Good or bad, everything is up for discussion x. If you’re interested in free learning material from Wealthy Affilate, click this link. For my other content, see http://the-write-guy.com/

Derrick

14 Comments

  1. Hi Derrick and thanks for your views on manhood. Being a woman, I appreciate your views. Having been married for 33 years, I appreciate my husband’s strength of character and the way he provides for us. He sees me as an equal partner, but I let him be the man God intended him to be. Strength and sensitivity are sexiest in my mind!
    Cheers,
    Suzanne

  2. Wow Derrick, first of all I must congratulate you for sharing your thoughts so bravely on a subject – the battle of the sexes – which to this day is still so controversial. Now, forgive me, but either I am more of a man in a woman’s body than I think, or the characteristics you describe as pure man like are in my mind the same for women too. As a woman, believe me, I too cry when it gets too much, but hate wingers, I too favour sensitivity but not delicacy. Should only a man be a leader? I don’t think so. But, you are right when you refer to the over-secularisation of society. I feel sorry for younger women particularly, as like with all younger people are more inexperienced, when they find in the position of choosing a boyfriend. Because the modern trends muddle their perception of a nice man, a nice person and friend to be with, as a fashionable six pack stereotypical model looking like man, not a regular every day guy. So, maybe, as you can see, I am possibly a little old fashion too. Maybe I need to be less on my computer and out and about a little bit more, meeting real rather virtual people 🙂

    • Well Giulia, I can confirm that if there is a medical solution for this type of issue, we are both perfect candidates as volunteers. As you’d imagine (I hope), society normally views crying and sensitivity as effeminate traits. So in general, we consider them normal for women, regardless of whether it is exaggerated or not. There is a general, and unspoken, pressure on men however, to have a ‘stiff upper lip’ and a ‘backbone’ under tough circumstances. Personally, I think it is a good thing. I’m perfectly okay with women taking the lead. I’m just uncomfortable with men feeling overly insecure about it so much that they choose to take a backseat permanently.
      …we both need to connect with more real people and not virtual folk haha.

  3. Hi Derrick,

    Great article on what it is to be a man in the 21s century.

    I believe civilization has been built up enough now, and since women make better managers and are better at negotiating and communication in general, makes women excellent leaders in business etc.

    You are right, only an insecure man would feel threatened by his wife success, and actually, I do not understand why any man would and it makes me laugh to hear of it. It basically means, I do not have to work as hard if we are both making a fortune – its just less pressure on men and men should certainly see the up side to this . However, to be fair as well Derrick, I have been in relationships with women who were far more successful than I – and I was being looked down upon! Please address this very common cultural phenomenon at some point as it does exist and I have seen it many times.

    OK, that is the only point I make for further discussion on this topic and I value and respect what you have said here today.

    Much appreciated Derrick and I will continue to come back for more insightful articles.

    Regards,

    Philip.

    • Phil. I really do enjoy your constructive feedbacks as well as criticisms. I also feel like if it weren’t for the distance between our locations, we could even be best buddies. I’ll do well to address your concern . This is why I like people giving me their opinions on my articles, it helps me single out important issues I may have been oblivious to.
      Regards. Derrick.

  4. I love posts like this and for me the key to being a man comes to moderation. Show strength and vulnerability when the situation arises. Listen and then speak your mind when the time comes.

    • I’m glad we’re on the same page on this issue Kari. Your idea of moderation resonates with my idea of balance. If we could all sync like we do, I really do think the world will be a much happier place. Thanks 😀

  5. As a woman, I truly appreciate your post and I agree that the man is still the provider and protector. My man and I have been married 28 years, and he is the head of this household, by God’s perfect design, and I love it! We are equal partners and a team together, but he takes care of me and it’s liberating. I take care of him also, so it’s a wonderful partnership and friendship. Thank you for sharing what you’ve learned thus far!

  6. The definition of manhood has changed quite a bit in the last 50-70 years. I’m in my 50s now and back when I was a kid, “being a man” was about being the breadwinner and looking after your family. It was about being a responsible adult, being stoic in the face of crisis and being the one everyone else leaned on when things got bad. Men were supposed to hold it together and breaking under pressure was a sign of weakness.

    When I got to be around 10 years old and cried because I injured myself playing, or some such, I’d be told “Be a man – real men don’t cry”.

    Today, men seem far more delicate. I remember an uncle decrying the movement of women into the workplace, saying that it undermined men, led to an increase in wayward children (mommy not being at home to keep them in line) and the emasculation of men. Having a woman boss was the final insult.

    I never agreed with any of that thinking though I still encountered it from some of my own male bosses when I was asked if I had a “problem” reporting to a female manager. I didn’t.

    I think the problem today is that men don’t have a defined role as they did in the past. They can be stay-at-home husbands rather than breadwinners. The financial difficulties in the last 10 years resulting from the crash mean young people are less able afford to move out of the family home.

    And if you’re stuck at home until your mid-30s, men certainly get used to having their laundry done by mom and meals served up at regular hours. They become institutionalised. Women in the same situation, I think, don’t suffer the same levels of institutionalisation.

    Today, men are encouraged to show their feelings. While that’s good, I think men today are over-indulgent in that respect. I wasn’t afraid to cry at my parents’ funerals. I’d lost people I loved dearly and holding the tears back would have negated that love. I’d have been dry-eyed because it was what was expected not because of how I really felt.

    But men these days seem to cry at the drop of a hat, showing their “vulnerability”. It unsettles me. But then I am from a more stoic era. There are times for tears and times to “suck it up” and act like a real man (whatever that actually means).

    Society ultimately determines what manhood means. We’ve seen the feminisation of men with the introduction of all the “personal grooming” products in the last couple of decades. Men using moisturising cream; men wearing makeup. All these serve to blur the lines between the sexes.

    Whether that’s right or wrong, I can’t answer. If it works for the current generation then so be it.

    But I do wonder if the male aggression we often see these days comes from a place of deep insecurity in men, not knowing how they’re expected to act in a given situation, so they resort to the primal response of physical confrontation.

    What do you think?

    • This is why I enjoy doing this. I just learned two important things from reading your comment; the concept of institutionalisation and how finance & inflation may have a big role in making men’s roles a lot less defined. I have always thought that anyone that was quick to aggression is an insecure person. And sometimes, I also think the same holds true for people who are very slow to react to aggression. In my opinion, you are right about insecurity being a factor. But I think that a painfully distorted idea of what manhood is about is also a factor.

      I’m talking about bravado.

      I’m sure you’ve seen people explode over little things just to make a statement, or because they’re in the company of their peers and do not wanna get ripped apart by them. And I think that kind of rationale makes people wanna prove something to others, and not themselves. I think there is a problem with that. Whatever the exact problem is, I cannot answer. The environment around us these days encourages men to be more delicate, which I fear is not a good thing. But my fear is that this is becoming a more generally accepted idea as time goes on. Where does it all end?

      Thanks again for your input Gary.

  7. Great read. However, the very fact that we need to have a discussion on ‘manhood is itself the problem. Manhood and it’s counterpart are social constructs designed to keep society in check especially at a time when women were seen as seen as the property of men. We have since learnt that gender is a social construct and as you mentioned is transient and forever changing. This is normal, change is normal. Sex on the other hand is biological and comes out of a billion years of evolutionary practice. In the survival of the human species, nature created the make sex and the female sex. Human beings took those sexes and ascribed roles to each in order to ensure the working balance of life and society. Besides, it was the appropriate thing to do at the time. Back then, during the industrial age etc the jobs were mainly industry jobs and heavy lifting, construction and the likes, there was no space for women in the workplace and men had to be tough to be able to do the type of jobs that could keep their family alive. It was as nature wanted, a survival of the fittest, and the way to survive was to ascribe roles. Now, through technological advancements and the liberty that comes with it, we have taking those roles and discredited them. I needn’t repeat what you’ve said in your article but most jobs nowadays are gender fluid and with the aid of technology, most of the jobs will not even need human assistance in the future. And in an age where robots do the heavy lifting and toughness is only fashionable in the sport and fashion industry, the only way man can survive is through empathy. And one cannot be sympathized if he is deprived of emotions. In an age where the rise of feminism grows stronger, and technological advancements proves domineering, man must learn as you suggest be sensitive but not delicate. On that, you are absolutely right!

    Great read.

    • Thank you very much for the insightful comment. I have learnt a lot by just reading your feedback alone!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *